Scripture teaches us the weapons we are to use in evangelism. But there is another important category for us to learn—what kind of weapons are off limits to us.

“For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else” (1 Thess. 2:3–6).

Notice the things that the apostles refused to use in reaching people:

errorimpure motivestrickerypleasing menflatterymasks to cover up greed

Unfortunately, all of these are used by some Christians who claim to be doing evangelism. Avoid them! From saying that you “see that hand” when you don’t (trickery) to telling someone that they would make a fine Christian (flattery), we have not obeyed the Scripture carefully at this point.

Here are two more things to be avoided in evangelism:

Human wisdom: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Cor. 1:17).Foolish and stupid arguments and quarrels: “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels” (2 Tim. 2:23).

*Excerpted from Weapons & Tactics. To purchase, visit